Election 2020: Inside Georgia’s Senate races

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The nation will be watching Georgia in 2020.

With two U.S. Senate seats on the ballot, the state will be have a big say in which party controls that chamber. Republicans David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler currently hold the office.

Here’s a look at the current state of the race for Perdue’s office.

Who’s running

Perdue is running for a second term that he says will be his last. Jon Ossoff, who raised $30 million for his narrow loss in the 2017 6th Congressional District special election, won the Democratic primary over 6 other candidates including Sarah Riggs Amico and Teresa Tomlinson, a former mayor of Columbus. Libertarian Shane Hazel will also be on the ballot.

>> Read more: Georgia's Ossoff-Perdue race for Senate presents a striking contrast

>> Read more: Who's running for office in Georgia

ExploreGeorgia U.S. Senate races 2020 - Latest AJC coverage

Predictions

Here’s how election forecasters currently rate the race.

Cook Political Report Inside Elections Sabato's Crystal Ball
Lean Republican Likely Republican Likely Republican
 

Headlines

>> Trump-Perdue bond reaches milestone and shapes Georgia Senate race

>> African Americans key to Democrats' hopes but absent in Ga. Senate race

>> Inside David Perdue's 2020 race for another U.S. Senate term

Georgia’s special election for the Senate

Gov. Brian Kemp appointed Kelly Loeffler to the U.S. Senate to finish Johnny Isakson’s term. Isakson stepped down because of health issues. Loeffler will run in a special election set for November 2020 that will pit candidates from all political parties on the same ballot. It will be an interesting race as 21 people qualified to run.

>> Related: Who's challenging Kelly Loeffler for Johnny Isakson's U.S. Senate seat

>> Read more: Who's running for office in Georgia

Republican U.S. Rep. Doug Collins will challenge her along with Democrats Raphael Warnock, who is pastor at Martin Luther King Jr.'s historic Atlanta church, Matt Lieberman, an entrepreneur and son of former U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, and Ed Tarver, who served as a U.S. attorney during the Obama administration. In all, 21 candidates qualified to run for the office, which includes four Republican challengers, 8 Democrats, 4 Independents and one Libertarian and one Green Party member.

>> Georgia Sen. Loeffler confirms feds cleared her of stock trading violations

>> 'Kryptonite?' Loeffler's wealth drives campaign, but threatens it, too

>> Raphael Warnock finds past comments a target for political criticism

>> Kemp taps Kelly Loeffler, financial exec, to US Senate seat

In the event that no candidate wins a majority of the votes in that contest, which is unlikely, a runoff between the top two finishers will be held Jan. 5, 2021. The winner of that election will serve the final two years of Isakson’s term, which ends in 2023. Some state lawmakers are working to pass a bill that would set up a primary in May 2020. Kemp has vowed to veto that bill.

Predictions

Here’s how election forecasters currently rate the race.

Cook Political Report Inside Elections Sabato's Crystal Ball
Lean Republican Likely Republican Lean Republican
 

History

In 1990, Democrats had such a stranglehold on the state that Republicans did not nominate a candidate to run against Sam Nunn, who had held the seat since 1973. Six years later when Nunn retired, Democrats barely held the seat. In the following election, in 2002, Republicans won it and have held it since.

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